Foxy rolled her suitcase behind her and sighed. "I can't believe it took that long for us to check in. Sheesh. You'd think those two had never seen a mixed couple before."
Orca walked behind Foxy, rolling his own suitcase. As he did, he sighed and said, "First, we are not a couple. Second... This is Japan. I would presume it is still rare to see."
Foxy rolled her eyes and said, "It's freaking 2025. Anyone who still gets upset at mixed couples is a weirdo."
Orca shrugged. "I don't disagree. Just simply stating the state of the world."
"Well, maybe the world needs to change already. I get enough stares back home, I don't need more here."
Orca raised an eyebrow. "Says the woman who posts pictures of herself-"
"Hey! That's business!" Foxy's face turned red and she said, "There's a difference!"
"...But you don't even bother to hide your face?"
"Well ex-cuuuse me, Mister Moneybags. Some of us have to do what we can to get by."
"...There is no winning in speaking with you, is there?"
Foxy winked and said, "About damned time you realized. Now." She stopped walking and pulled out the card and map that she got from the front desk. "Is this the right hall?"
They were on the top floor of the hotel. Apparently, Mister John had rented out one of those fancy mega suites that were used for business meetings. The sort with a central room and adjacent private rooms.
Foxy glanced back at Orca and said, "The card should work for all the doors on this floor, right?"
Orca nodded. "It should. But it might be best to be sure we're entering the correct room."
"Right... I guess it'd be awkward if we walked into a room where someone was changing."
"And that is what deadbolt locks are for."
"Yep. Now... I guess we might as well check out the lounge first?" Foxy walked towards the fanciest door in the hallway and swiped her card.
Orca followed, dragging both his luggage and Foxy's luggage behind him.
A soft click echoed as the door unlocked.
Foxy reached to open the door, but then she paused.
Orca tilted his head and said, "Something wrong?"
"No. But what if Garbage got here first? Knowing that guy, he might be doing something stupid like changing in the lounge."
Instead of opening the door, she knocked and said, "It's Foxy and Orca. Are you in there, Garbage?"
Foxy turned to look at Orca.
Orca stared back and shrugged.
Foxy reached to open the door.
And then it swung open by itself- No. Someone opened it.
A handsome man with crimson eyes and silver hair. Perfectly trained muscles on full display with a form-fitting t-shirt.
"[email protected]#$!#[email protected]"
Caught off-guard, Foxy backpedaled with a bright red face, running into Orca.
Fortunately, Orca was prepared for something to happen, so he managed to brace himself and hold Foxy in place.
Unfortunately for Foxy, that realization made her face turn an even more vivid shade of red.
The handsome man glanced at Foxy and Orca before realization flashed in his eyes. "Oh. This explains a lot."
Orca set Foxy to the side and then held out his hand. "I don't believe we've met?"
The handsome man held out his hand as well and said, "Hottie."
Foxy swallowed and muttered, "Damn straight you are."
Orca blinked and looked at her.
Foxy coughed and said, "I-I mean... What kind of name is that?!"
Hottie shrugged and said, "It's habit by now. Me, Couch, and Knight have been calling each other like that for a while now, along with the other Alfis."
Foxy blinked. Then she gasped and pointed at Hottie. "Oh. My. God. Are *you* Alfis_HotCocoa?!"
Hottie laughed. "It sounds a bit ridiculous when you say it like that... But come in. I think Mister John wanted us to all get to know each other before meeting the girls tomorrow."
Foxy nodded and started to walk in first.
But before she could, Orca stepped forward, blocking the path.
Foxy frowned and said, "Orca-"
"Have you all selected your rooms yet?" Orca smiled and said, "It's been a long day, so Foxy and I would appreciate knowing which rooms we can take."
Hottie coughed and then stepped to the side, holding the door open.
And at the same time, it revealed the rest of the room, as well as its current occupants.
"We were, but then... uh, a misunderstanding occurred."
Foxy stared at the scene in front of her with blank eyes. And then she burst out laughing.
Dangling upside down from the ceiling while wrapped up in bedsheets, Garbage glared with a red face and said, "Don't just stand there laughing! Get me away from these scary muscleheads!"
A male bodybuilder wearing a white t-shirt smiled and said, "Don't be like that, Garbage-san. We were just getting to know each other better."
A beautiful woman with light brown hair adjusted her blouse before smiling. "Yes. Weren't you just talking about how you enjoy being dominated by strong beautiful women?"
Foxy laughed even harder.
Garbage's eyes widened and he started squirming in embarrassment. "S-Shut up! Shut up, shut up, shut up! Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!"
Orca let out a deep sigh and covered his face. "This is why I keep telling you to think things through before you act, Garbage..."
"JUST GET ME OUT OF HERE ALREADY!"
"Nice." John held his phone between his head and shoulder while rearranging the grocery bags he was holding. After shifting them to one hand, he walked into the hotel elevator before grabbing his phone again. "So everything's up and running for ReIdolize and your SAO knock-off, Titor?"
*Hey! It's not a knock-off, it's better!*
"Right. And your next line is 'there's no saying that the fake can't be better than the original.'"
John lowered his phone to check the time.
8:00 PM. Late, but not too late for a celebratory dinner/drinking session orientation meeting.
*Anyway, did you want me to set up the accounts for the girls? The event's going live in a few days, so do you want me to get a headstart so they just need to log-in?*
"Will it work at the studio?"
*Pft. Will it work at the studio... Duh. That's a literal soul translator. Of course it'll work- Owowow! I made it on accident, Ama! I didn't mean to- Okay! Sorry!*
*Don't worry about it, John.*
*Give it back, Ama!*
*Stay on track then.*
There was a brief scuffle on the other line, and then Titor's voice echoed again.
*Geez. You'd think she was on her period or something with how antsy she's been recently.*
John bit back a laugh and instead focused on business. "So that's settled, your game is up... Have you talked with Yato at all? I think he'd appreciate a collab too considering what he's trying to do."
That guy was trying to save a world on the brink of ruin through superchats, so John was sure he'd appreciate some more direct aid if Titor could manage it.
*Yeah, we've chatted a bit. His wife and Ama get along great, and he seems pretty chill. You had lunch with him yet?*
"Not yet." John pulled out a keycard. Shortly after that, a chime echoed and the elevator doors opened. Walking out, he said, "Been a bit busy with the new baby, Meggie's life counseling, and setting things up for the New Year."
*You should do that soon then. He's been wanting to talk with you about stuff too. Something about helping him get a job for his wife?*
"Is she a teacher?"
*I think she's a singer?*
"Hm... I'll think about it."
V-Show Girls needed some support staff too. And while Qing along with his Demon Lord Waifu were part of that, some proper middle-management would be best. Especially since that dragon went off the rails around Sitri.
*What are you doing right now anyway? Isn't Yue going to be mad you're out late?*
"I'm doing work, and give my wife a bit of credit. She's gotten better about that."
*So you're saying that you're planning to pull more girls in, then?*
"No. Should I tell Amadeus that you are?"
*I-I'm not! I was just saying that- W-Wait. Ama! It was a joke! Don't-*
The call suddenly ended.
John chuckled and slipped his phone away. "Well, he'll figure it out soon enough."
If John had to suffer through the mess caused by an irate and pregnant wife, Titor as his alterego/clone/twin thingy should suffer as well.
That was only fair, right?
John swiped his card to unlock the door to the business suite he rented out for Alfi's Trio and Aoko's Three Musketeers. Afterwards, he walked in and called out. "Sorry I'm late, everyone. Thought that I'd pick up a few things to celebrate and-"
The door closed behind John with a soft thud and a click as it locked itself.
As for what was in front of John...
Orca, Knight, and Hottie were playing cards on a table. An ordinary scene... if not for the fact that a small stack of clearly valuable gemstones had been placed in the middle of the table on top of some clothes. Clothes that were clearly from Knight and Hottie since the two were showing off their bare torsos.
But that was still fine. Relatively normal. Just some heehee haha.
But off to the side...
Garbage was sitting on a chair. Ah, correction. He was tied up on a chair. Weird, but alright.
It didn't stop there though.
Couch walked around the chair, taking slow and sultry steps. With her form-fitting white shirt, tight jeans, and lithe muscles, she looked like a leopard about to pounce.
And she wasn't the only one. Foxy was taking slow steps around Garbage as well. But unlike Couch, who was dressed normally, Foxy was wearing a form-fitting leather suit with a fox-ear bandana, a fluffy tail attached to a place John would rather not stare, and holding a leather whip.
Of course, the two of them stopped the moment they noticed John was standing there.
An awkward silence.
Garbage, staring at John with pleading eyes.
Taking everything in...
John cleared his throat and said, "It's good that you all seem to be getting along well."
That was what he said out loud. But internally...
'Just what the hell happened here...?'
I see that team trust building exercises will need to be... tailored... for John's team meetings.
if this is how they act with just John... what would even happen when they *finally* meet the girls
@ThatLurkerInTheCorner I can immediately see the girls learning how to play strip poker.
Getting along well is important.
This is true. Especially when Oshis are involved.
Correct me if i'm wrong but is Foxy holding the whip with her left booba?
You are absolutely correct.
Thanks for the chapter, love the story and currently on my 4th (?) reread. No, I don’t have a problem. Be quiet.
Thanks for reading! Appreciate that you enjoy it so much! And no worries. I think it's a good read too. Sometimes, I look back and wonder just how the heck I wrote all of it...
I really need to see how they would react to the girls.
Thanks for the chapter,
there's no saying that the fake can't be better than the original.'"
John's mind really soaked in Fate huh.
How about Fire Emblem?
John's mind really soaked in Fate huh.
More like Titor's is and John is just being exasperated.
How about Fire Emblem?
Jk. John doesn't bring up Fire Emblem because that would mean admitting the fact that he got S-ranked support on all the waifus from Awakening to Three Houses played a role in his misery with women in the Three Realms.
@HappyVainGlory HAHHAHAA no males bet played as a male too.
Thanks for another great chapter
thx for the chapter!
garbage u lucky son of a—i mean, poor garbage, john better save him quickly!
Thanks for reading!
garbage u lucky son of a—i mean, poor garbage, john better save him quickly! Blob Angel